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The vampire drank every drop Jim had to give, then dropped his body in the December snow. The electric liquid danced through his undead veins, giving him a brief euphoria topped off with a light buzz in his chest. Blood dripped down his porcelain face, he reached for the blood stained handkerchief in his coat pocket. He was ready to bolt when he realized who he had dropped in the snow. The buzz in his chest turned to fire, then to a ticklish laughter as he remembered how much he hated Jim Summers. He was told how to dispose of bodies, but not tonight. This was a special kill, one everyone should see.
Meredith strolled through the French Market looking for a sun hat. It was November and 78 degrees. She couldn’t stop thinking about the note she found next to her pillow this morning.
“Are you predator or are you prey? Decide!”
Her phone buzzed it was Jim again. I should have never told him, she thought.
“I need you to come home now, or I will fly out there and get you,” Jim said.
“You don’t understand, this is about my brother. I have a lead,” she said. “Oh I like that one,” she said to the lady seated at the table. It was brown weave with a sunflower.
“In New Orleans, that’s unlikely. I just don’t know if we can continue like this and who are you talking to?”
“What do you mean?” she asked even though she had heard this all before.
His insecurity blared through her phone.
She felt that ache in her throat that she often got when having this conversation with him.
“Are you seeing someone else?” he asked. “Is it Dan Okada?”
And there it was again. She was sleeping with any man she was friends with.
“No, Dan is like a brother to me. I have to go.”
She put her phone away, but Jim buzzed again. She just ignored it. He had no reason to doubt her, she had never cheated on him. She played by the rules of being the good socialite girlfriend and he fit her list of qualifications too. He was perfect on paper as her best friend Sylvia always said. Unfortunately that’s all he was. She prayed everyday, “God let me love him today.” But that prayer was never answered. Jim would not stop buzzing there was a voicemail and two angry texts.
As she turned and exited onto Ursuline Avenue she locked eyes with a stunning man grinning at her as if he was looking into her soul. She almost felt violated by his predatory eyes. She felt a jump in her stomach and turned away. The message from the morning ran across her mind.
“Are you predator or are you prey? Decide!”
She knew the answer. She was prey. But if she was to find her brother she had to be a predator. She turned back around and looked straight back at him. Her stomach ached, her face quivered. He dropped his smile and loosened his gaze. He nodded at her in approval as he stepped into the coffee shop across the street. How did he do that? He was so close how did he just appear across the street? Was he….a vampire?
As Tegan walked over dried leaves on Spring Street her phone buzzed incessantly. Everyone needed her advice or opinion on something. She realized with Justin gone she was now in charge. Really in charge. She had to call Ian, she was able to contact Ian for the first time in a hundred years, without permission, secrecy or repercussions.
Justin’s new prison offered a new opportunity. She might even be able to reunite the clans. She was getting ahead of herself. For now she just needed to call her estranged husband. So why was she hesitating? Because she knew deep down there was no happily ever after with Ian. He would eventually try to take over the Clan himself if she let him back in.
Then there was Dylan husband number three always loyal but rash and vicious when needed. He was often more action than thought. He could be a problem too.
Maybe she should lock them all in coffins she thought.
Tegan arrived at the Bean on Beacon and Charles as Dan ordered his coffee. She hid in the back and felt into his energy. He was tense, emotional, angry. She went further and read his thoughts. He and Sean O’Rourke were preparing to leave their job today. Good for them, that Weller could be a son of a bitch, she thought. She needed more intell on everything else he was doing today. She had to touch him.
“MEDIUM CHAI with whole milk, extra cinnamon for Tegan,” the barista said.
She moved forward to the faux white marble counter, Dan was standing close by, she nudged him as she walked by, a slight tingle of electricity went right to her solar plexus. He had the deep magic of the Okada bloodline but he buried it, sealed it behind a thick gray wall. She grabbed her chai, turned around, smiled, looked straight on into his deep brown eyes as she nudged him again as she tried to exit.
“Tegan? Like Sarah and Tegan?” he asked.
She felt his attraction like a blue flame hovering in the small space between them. She knew that energy. She had to cut it off.
“More like running late, Tegan.” she said winking her right green eye at him.
She glided out the door sending a surge of sharp, frigid wind his way so he could not follow. She needed to get to his office before Dylan found Sean O’Rourke there.
Tegan swallowed hard as she paced the floor her mind was a triathlon of thoughts. Who freed him? Why? How did they free him? Someone was always watching the tombs on the security system. And her last thought, it was bad to have just staked one of the only vampires in the world strong enough to help them.
Dylan only had one thought.
“The truce is over, Tegan,” he said. “The O’Rourkes will be coming, if we do not get to them first.”
With that he sped out of the tomb.
“Dylan, DON’T! Damn it.”
She raced up the stone steps after him, but he was gone only the aspen scent of him remained. The O’Rourkes, we could manage them, they weren’t hunters anymore. They were harmless. Oh shit, they were defenseless and she had placed Dan with them. This is was turning out to be one of the worst days in the last one hundred years!
She didn’t hesitate upon the words entering her ears, piercing her heart, she raised the wooden stake in her right hand and rammed it hard right through Justin’s heart.
He let out a loud gasp. His brown eyes widened as he stared at her grasping for the stake.
Dylan gasped as well, but saw the opportunity and rushed over placing his hands over Tegan’s and shoved the stake in further.
Justin’s head flew back.
“How could you?” he whispered. I thought you understood.”
Tegan was silent as the tears flowed down her porcelain cheeks. Dylan lifted Justin’s body and placed him in Philippe’s empty coffin.
“Chains, we are going to need chains,” she said.
This may be used in my novel. Please excuse the formatting. I do a lot of this from my phone.
Something was not right in the town of Ashton, Massachusetts. Meredith O’Rourke, walked around for two weeks with a deep unrest at the bottom of her stomach. It was almost Halloween which because of her family history always made her twitchy, but that wasn’t it. This was deeper, she felt it in her bones. It all started the day her brother Sean found the family journals. She should have told him years ago. He had not spoken to her since. She was concerned but knew he wouldn’t do anything rash. And yet this feeling sat in her stomach. Her senses on high alert for any paranormal activity in town.
The paranormal elements typically stayed out of Ashton. Not because of the three hundred so called witches and vampires that were burned there in 1642 mostly with the help of her ancestors, but rather because of the witches and vampires that were not destroyed there in 1642. The ones her family let go. The ones she knew lived at the De Morlais Estate on Pleasant Street.
Whenever Dan Okada visited Ashton he stayed with his good friends the O’Rourkes. Since his last visit two weeks ago he felt an anger rising within him. Something had been stirred in his soul. A part of him just wanted to go back to his hum drum existence. But this new rage needed a vehicle. When he was approached at work by his mentor Rich McDonnell to join an office walk out. “The words, “Sign me up,” flew out of his mouth without a thought. He noticed a difference with his friend Sean as well. He was smoking like he a lot of stock options in Marlboro. He recalled a difference in the air on his last visit to Ashton. It was colder than usual for October. And it was creepier than usual for October. He saw more spirits in that two day trip than he had in the last six months and a few times he felt like someone was whispering in his ear. But what he remembered most was how angry Sean was with his sister Meredith, so angry they headed back to Boston a day early.
The Vampiress Tegan, felt a shadow watching over her the past two weeks. She tried to pick up a scent, a glimpse of it in full form out of the corner of her eye, but nothing. Just the heaviness of its presence lingering over her and her clan. She told everyone to be extra careful. Some of the young vamps looked at her like she was crazy. She didn’t blame them. They didn’t know the horror that had preceded their existence. They didn’t know that there are creatures out there far more dangerous than vampires. A few times she found herself on her evening walk outside the O’Rourke House. She could see Meredith O’Rourke pacing the floor through the front porch windows. She could feel Meredith’s unrest. She thought about warning her. Something was coming. But what good would that do? Meredith and Sean were never trained to be hunters. The truce between the vampires and the O’Rourke family which had kept future descendants safe since World War II now seemed to have left this current generation of O’Rourkes helpless to defend themselves.
She moved on and against her better judgement went up to Ashton Cemetery. Maybe the dead would have answers, she thought. The wind felt colder, sharper yet heavy. The 17 th century cobblestone sidewalk just outside the cemetery had been dismantled from underneath their three hundred year home. Inside two of the O’Rourke family tombstones had been knocked over. She noticed the iron gate to her family tomb, the De Morlais tomb was wide open. Her stomach dropped. Unease turned to all out fear and after a thousand years not much scared her. She ran inside the tomb. The secret passageway in the floor was ajar about an inch. She lifted the granite stone from the floor which triggered the lights in the secret vault below. She ran down the hidden stone stairway to find Wilhelm’s empty open coffin. The iron chains that once sealed the mahogany box were broken on the cold concrete. Empty blood bags littered the floor. Someone or something had let him out!
“Where is Dan? Why isn’t he calling me?”
The house smelled of cinnamon, like Christmas, like Thanksgiving, like a warm safe home. Something Alex had not known until now. He tried to play it cool, blend in, act like he was one of the spoiled elite he went to school with. But they knew the truth. He was a fraud. A foster kid who got lucky, he thought. He told himself things would get better maybe over time they would forget where he came from. Maybe he would too. Maybe this life was contagious. He was willing to catch it. The best part of it all wasn’t the money, it was Dan. He wasn’t very parental, there were no rules that he knew of, but Dan did care. He showed up at the art show and seemed to like his graphic novel. Dan also liked comics. Maybe this was it. A real home once and for all. He tried not to focus on it. The thought of losing it was too upsetting. He had become attached to Dan and the idea of having a father who actually cared. For now he would continue to play it cool, blend in, wing it.
I have been struggling with my lead character, Dan. But at my novel class Monday night at the San Francisco Writing Salon, he came to life. Our teacher asked us a very important question. What does your character lack? As opposed to the typical question of what does your character want? Writing about the lack I feel as though I went back to the depth Dan had when I first started writing him.
The backstory that made me what to propel him forward from the beginning–his fear of love, his greatest shame, his inability to be vulnerable, these wounds make him just as interesting as the vibrant secondary characters, that aide him or stand in his way. He is my main protagonist, at least in the first book. I have been focusing too much on the actions to propel, when I should just let him propel what happens on his quest. After all, it is his story.